Deep Rock Galactic

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Deep Rock Galactic
Deep rock galactic cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Ghost Ship Games
Publisher(s)Coffee Stain Publishing
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
Release
  • Windows, Xbox One
  • May 13, 2020
  • PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
  • January 4, 2022
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • September 9, 2022
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Multiplayer, single-player

Deep Rock Galactic is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed by Danish studio Ghost Ship Games and published by Coffee Stain Publishing. Deep Rock Galactic was fully released on May 13, 2020 for Windows and Xbox One after spending two years in early access.[1] The game was later released for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in January 2022,[2] and for Xbox Series X/S in September 2022.[3]

Deep Rock Galactic received positive reviews by critics, who praised its class-based gameplay and atmosphere. The game has sold over 4 million units as of June 2022, and is part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription service since November 2020. It was also available to PlayStation Plus subscribers during the month of its release.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

Deep Rock Galactic is a 1-4 player cooperative[5] first-person shooter video game in which players work together while exploring destructible procedurally generated cave systems.[6] The game focuses on PvE combat.

Players take on the role of one of four space dwarves assigned to various missions, which include objectives such as mining specific minerals, stealing alien eggs, eliminating targets, or retrieving lost equipment. These are usually the primary objective, required to complete the mission. The player may optionally complete a secondary objective (usually collecting other materials or items) to receive extra credits (which are used to unlock or improve the player's equipment) and experience points (which increase a player's level).

Most of the gameplay takes place underground on Hoxxes IV, a dangerous planet full of minerals, biomes, oversized bugs, and rival robots.[7] Missions take place in large caverns and tunnels, with varying terrain generation, objectives and enemies depending on the biome and mission type.[8][6] Players fight insect-like aliens as they attempt to complete the mission objectives and collect materials for crafting.[8][9][10]

The process of selecting missions or assignments, changing weapons or cosmetics, or upgrading equipment occurs in the orbital station, Space Rig 17. Most assignments unlock a cosmetic or weapon, and have prerequisites required to be met to start them. Assignments consist of a collection of missions the player must complete in sequence to unlock the desired item.

Classes[edit]

There are four playable classes to choose from: the Engineer, the Gunner, the Driller, and the Scout. Each class has their own experience level, accessories, and promotion level, with the player's progress shown as their player rank. Once a player has reached level 25 on a class, they are offered a promotion after completing an assignment (a specific set of missions), resetting their class level and unlocking end-game content. A player can do multiple promotions with the same class; however, only the first one has any gameplay benefit. Players can choose their class while in the lobby by using the character selection, equipment selection, or cosmetics terminals inside of the Space Rig, or while joining a mission.

Each of the four playable classes has three primary and three secondary weapon options. Initially only one primary weapon and one secondary weapon is offered to the player, with the other weapon options unlocking as the player progresses through the game. Weapons upgrades, called 'mods' in-game, can be purchased after reaching the required class level. Weapons can also be overclocked; 'clean' overclocks add a small benefit with no downside, 'balanced' overclocks provide benefits coupled with drawbacks, and 'unstable' overclocks offer a huge benefit with a significant penalty, usually changing the functions or use cases of the weapon.

Every class additionally has access to a support tool and a traversal tool, and four choices of grenades. Initially only one grenade is available, and the others can be unlocked at certain class-level milestones, notably without the requirement of completing an assignment, unlike weapons.

Engineer[edit]

The Engineer uses a shotgun as his primary weapon and a grenade launcher as his secondary weapon by default. The grenade launcher has high area of effect damage. His primary can be replaced with an electrical submachine gun or a smart rifle which locks on to opponents. His secondary can be replaced with a plasma gun which fires horizontal plasma beams or a laser beam emitter. The plasma gun fires a wide beam, dealing damage to any number of targets, through armor and terrain. As a traversal tool, the Engineer has a platform gun that fires circular platforms, and as a support tool, a deployable sentry gun that automatically targets enemies and has to be reloaded. The standard grenade for Engineer is the "LURE" (Laser Utility Refraction Emitter), which deals no damage but can draw the attention of enemies away from the team.

Gunner[edit]

The Gunner shooting at a Glyphid

The Gunner uses a minigun as his primary weapon and high caliber revolver as his secondary weapon. His primaries can later be replaced with a high caliber autocannon or a guided missile launcher; his secondary can be replaced with a rapid fire pistol or a handheld gauss gun. As a traversal tool, the Gunner uses a zipline gun that fires anchored ziplines, which can be used in either direction. As a support tool, he carries a deployable shield generator that creates a protective shield bubble. The Gunner's shield bubble causes enemies to retreat from its area of effect, while also blocking all projectile attacks. The standard grenade for the Gunner is a sticky bomb.

Driller[edit]

The Driller uses a flamethrower as his primary weapon and semi-automatic pistol as his secondary weapon. His primary weapon can later be replaced with a cryo cannon or a pump that fires corrosive sludge, while his secondary can be replaced with a plasma pistol or a handheld microwave gun. The Driller uses handheld power drills as his traversal tool, which can be used to dig through terrain at a much faster rate than the regular pickaxe, creating a tunnel that can be easily used by other players. As his support tool, the Driller has a satchel charge that carves out a large portion of terrain, damaging or killing enemies and teammates alike, including the Driller. The default grenade for the Driller is the "Impact Axe," a high damage thrown axe which otherwise makes up for the Driller's lack of single target damage.

Scout[edit]

The Scout uses an assault rifle as his primary weapon and a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun as his secondary weapon. His primaries can later be replaced with a semi-automatic rifle based on the M1 Garand and a plasma rifle with a high rate of fire. The Scout's secondary can later be replaced by a pair of automatic machine pistols, which he dual-wields, and a crossbow which fires "special bolts," each with its own trait, such as creating an electric field or turning bugs against themselves. The Scout uses a grappling gun as his traversal tool, which quickly moves the Scout around in any direction. He also uses a flare gun as his support tool to deploy high-intensity flares that are brighter, last longer, and cover a larger area than the standard flares used by every class. The standard grenade for the Scout is the "IFG" (Inhibitor-Field Generator), which slows down enemies in the affected area.

Development[edit]

Deep Rock Galactic is Ghost Ship Games' first game. The team took inspiration from both Minecraft and Left 4 Dead.[11] The team felt that a problem with Left 4 Dead was that it was unbalanced for new players who wanted to play with veterans, as such they wanted to design a game where all teammates would be on even footing regardless of experience.[12] Ghost Ship Games said they benefited from an early access model, as having community feedback allowed them to iterate on the mechanics and design of the game and to choose what features to prioritize. The low-poly art style was chosen because of the speed with which they were able to add models and content in, compared to a more detail-oriented art style.[13] The most difficult part of development was creating the procedural world generator. Co-founder and CEO Søren Lundgard would later say "Our CTO just took a week away and when he returned he said, 'I have something'... Then he had this prototype of a crazy mesh generated procedural look that we ended up with, and it's still like, this is just awesome, but how does it actually work?". Deep Rock Galactic used Unreal Engine for development and was made with the engine's Blueprint scripting.[14] The game continues to be developed, with intermittent updates adding new biomes, equipment and accessories.

Deep Rock Galactic entered early access on February 28, 2018, where it spent about two years prior to the full release.[8][15][16][17]

Reception[edit]

The Early Access version of Deep Rock Galactic was well received by critics, who praised the game's atmosphere and challenging levels. Multiple reviewers compared parts of the experience of Deep Rock Galactic to and Left 4 Dead.[8][6] The full version of the game was released on May 13, 2020.[23] Deep Rock Galactic received positive reviews from critics, ending up with an average score of 84 on Metacritic.[24][25]

Nic Reuben of Rock, Paper, Shotgun enjoyed how the game's classes meshed well together, and were each viable for co-op, saying that "each class is both viable and enjoyable".[26] Matt Miller of Game Informer appreciated how the unique secondary objectives gave the game a risk/reward dynamic.[27]

Phil Iwaniuk, writing for PC Gamer, enjoyed the tension that the exfiltration phase brought to each mission, and the persistent upgrades that let the player customize their dwarf.[28] Leana Hafer of IGN praised the distinct abilities of each of the dwarves and the low-poly visual style, but criticized the game for its connection issues, saying "About one in every five missions, I’d run into connection issues that could cause other players to lag severely and disconnect."[29]

In January 2021 Ghost Ship Games said that Deep Rock Galactic had sold over 2 million units,[30] 3 million sales by November 2021,[31] and 4 million copies in June 2022.[32]

In March 2021, Ghost Ship Games and Coffee Stain Publishing won Indie Game of the Year and Excellence in Multiplayer awards at South by Southwest.[33]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Kratky, Otta (December 1, 2021). "Deep Rock Galactic Is Coming To PlayStation Consoles Next Year". Gamespot. Archived from the original on October 3, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Alexandar Max Skronski (September 9, 2022). "Deep Rock Galactic Is Now Optimized for Xbox Series X|S". Xbox Wire. Archived from the original on September 9, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  4. ^ Michel, Adam (December 29, 2021). "PlayStation Plus games for January: Persona 5 Strikers, Dirt 5, Deep Rock Galactic". PlayStation. Archived from the original on January 4, 2022. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
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  21. ^ "Deep Rock Galactic for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  22. ^ "Deep Rock Galactic for Xbox One". Metacritic. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  23. ^ Brown, Fraser (April 29, 2020). "Deep Rock Galactic is digging its way out of Early Access on May 13". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  24. ^ "Deep Rock Galactic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2021-05-16. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  25. ^ "Deep Rock Galactic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2021-06-16. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  26. ^ "Deep Rock Galactic review". Rock Paper Shotgun. 2020-05-13. Archived from the original on 2021-07-22. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  27. ^ Miller, Matt. "Deep Rock Galactic Review – Off To Work We Go". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2021-07-22. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
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  31. ^ Calvin, Alex (November 11, 2021). "Deep Rock Galactic surpasses 3m sales". PC Games Insider. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  32. ^ "4 Million Units Sold!". 23 June 2022. Archived from the original on 28 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  33. ^ "Gaming Awards - SXSW Conference & Festivals", South by Southwest, archived from the original on March 1, 2017, retrieved March 26, 2021

External links[edit]